5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses appeal in Singing River pension settlement case

5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses appeal in Singing River pension settlement case

MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal filed by lawyers on behalf of 200 retirees in the Singing River Health System pension settlement. The court dismissed the appeal, which upholds the previously approved settlement agreement.

Singing River Health System is required to deposit $156 million into the retirement trust over the next 35 years. The settlement is designed to fully compensate the plan for missed contributions from 2009 to 2014, according to some experts.

Earl Denham, one of the attorneys of the 200 retirees, isn't ready to give up yet.

He said, "Harvey and I will sit down and discuss this with our clients, but we are prepared to go to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Harvey Barton said, " For the first time ever in US history, a rich government is able to absolve themselves of their pension fund liability without having to file bankruptcy."

Barton previously told WLOX he didn't believe the settlement was fair.

"This settlement cannot last for the lifetime of all these beneficiaries, it's not designed to do that. The settlement is inadequate," he said.

However, Jim Reeves, attorney for Singing River believes the longer the legal process plays out the more money the pension plan will lose.

"Appeals have cost the pension plan at this point millions of dollars because money that would have been paid in this settlement can't be invested, it's held in escrow until all the appeals are exhausted," Reeves previously told WLOX.

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